Gallery: Storm leaves thousands of homes without power, Saaremaa badly hit

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Thousands of homes in Estonia are currently without electricity, as storms with gale force wind in speeds of up to 30 meters per second (Force 11 on the Beaufort scale) buffeted the country through the course of Saturday. The island of Saaremaa has been the worst-hit area.

As of Saturday evening, over 11,000 households were without power, with work parties from grid distributor Elektrilevi working to restore electricity. Later on on Saturday evening the figure had risen to over 13,000, ERR reports, though by Sunday morning, according to Elektrilev's site, the overall figure stood at around 2,000 outages, with more than a third of that figure being from Saaremaa.

Roofs on buildings on the island have been damaged, while fallen trees and other debris litter the scene (see gallery above).

Other areas to have been hit include the north shore of Peipsi järv (Lake Peipus), southeastern Estonia, and western Estonia, with over a thousand households without power in these areas as well.

Elektrilevi has over 30 work brigades in operation nationwide, ERR reports, and are being recruited on an ongoing basis.

Elektrilevi's incident center managing specialist Hardi Puusepp told ERR earlier on Saturday, when the number of outages was around 4,000 on Saaremaa alone, that since the peak of still lies ahead, more blackouts were likely through the course of the day.

The State Weather Service (Riigi ilmateenistus) issued a level-two (orange) warning for western Estona and the Peipsi järv area this morning, with the rest of Estonia on level-one (yellow) warning.

Elektrilevi's outages map, updated in real time, is here.

Fallen trees and the poor conditions, along with sub-zero temperatures overnight, can make road travel in particular hazardous through to Sunday, even as the storm itself is forecast to blow over by Sunday morning.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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